What’s in a name? Plenty, when it comes to the automobile that many people chose to buy.
Roseville, CA- The opinion here is the Genesis G70 suffers due to its brand name. Despite how it favorably matches up against established rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Audi A-4 and the BMW 3-series, sales are meager since the entry-level luxury sport sedan was introduced in 2019.
The G70 had a promising start with sales of 11,901. However, sales dipped by nearly 4,800 in 2020 when the total was 7,124. Sharp looks, fun-to-drive characteristics and undercutting its competitors by thousands of dollars doesn’t seem to matter. What matters most appears to be its lack of name recognition.
The luxury division of Hyundai, the Genesis brand debuted in 2017 with two upscale sedans (G80, G90). Despite some strong qualities, neither one has fared well in sales. Total sales for all three Genesis models in 2020 was a pathetic 11,285.
Since it’s one year from its original release, predictably the 2020 Genesis G70 didn’t arrive with many alterations. New for 2020 were minor equipment changes and upgraded brakes to one of its trim models. Its primary strengths remain an engaging car to drive that can be purchased at a reasonable price, starting at approximately $35,600.
AT A GLANCE – GENESIS G70
- Performance: turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 252 horsepower; turbo 3.3-liter, V6, 365 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 22-30 mpg; 17-26 mpg
- Price estimate: $35,600 to $46,800
- Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; corrosion: 12 years/unlimited
In regard to exterior, the G70 has a low-slung, sporty appearance that should appeal to many. Like the other two Genesis models, it has the new supersized front grille. It’s a giant grille that resembles a home-plate in baseball. If this was a ploy to garner some attention, it is mission accomplished – a home run. One can’t take a front-end look at any Genesis without noticing the distinctive grille, which is framed by two new thinner headlights.
What we loved most about the Genesis G70 is the performance and driving engagement in the more upscale 3.3T trim model. This rear-wheel drive compact sedan was quicker than expected. It has a turbocharged 3.3-liter, V6 engine that generates 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Its acceleration is easily noticed – 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.
When it comes to speed, the standard model G70 is no slouch either. It features a turbo 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that produces 252 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It’s nearly two seconds slower than the 3.3 trim, clocking 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds, but has a distinct edge in fuel economy – 22-30 mpg versus 17-26 mpg.
It’s worth noting that the G70 is the only vehicle remaining in its class that still offers a six-speed manual transmission, available only in the base model. The G70 has an all-wheel drive option as well.
Strong performance is combined with some solid driving characteristics that give the person behind the wheel a confident feel. Adding to that feel is standard safety features like lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, driver attention assist, and adaptive cruise control with start/stop.
Where the Genesis G70 comes up lacking in comparison to some competitors is the modest room in the back seat and trunk, and the infotainment system. Yet overall, the interior gets points for its tasteful styling and ease of learning the vehicle’s intricacies.
The G70 employs an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system that is simple and intuitive. Fans of simplicity will like that the G70 has three knobs and several buttons (not touchscreen controls), eliminating much of the guess work that comes with getting acquainted to a new car.
While seating up front is average in terms of space and comfort, the same can’t be said for the back seat. It’s cramped, especially the leg room. Any tall adult will not like seating in the back. The cargo area is inadequate as well at 10.5 cubic feet.
Overall, the 2020 Genesis G70 is above average for the class and really shines in the price department – no other competitor can match its price. What remains to be seen is if sales climb or continue to take a down spiral.